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Since June of 2011, the government of Sudan has embarked on a campaign of aerial bombings, forced denial of humanitarian aid to areas under control of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), and ground attacks against the people groups of the Nuba Mountains. The catastrophe that has unfolded for over three years in this geographic area of Sudan — which resides in South Kordofan state just north of the Sudan and South Sudan border — has severely impacted hundreds of thousands of people and sent tens of thousands more fleeing to South Sudan.
On the evening of December 15, 2013, a chaotic and separate crisis in South Sudan erupted in the capital city of Juba following months of gridlock within the ruling political party, growing divisions amongst a handful of power-hungry party leaders, and years of rampant corruption. Fighting has quickly expanded along ethnic lines across broad areas of the country. This split sections of the national army and led to a rapid resurgence of armed militias, and fighters loyal to both sides commit atrocities.
While this new crisis in South Sudan has received deserved attention and involvement from the international community, the ongoing crises in Sudan remain in a state of near abandonment. The recent violence paralyzing much of South Sudan has placed additional stress on refugees who have fled out of the Nuba Mountains and nearby Blue Nile, another Sudanese state that is under siege by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and their associated militias.
Many of these refugees are now facing an impossible decision: remain in conflict- torn South Sudan and risk being caught in the crossfire or flee back into the war in Sudan, where targeted aerial bombings and man-made humanitarian relief shortages continue.
In a new report, “Abandoned,” following a March 2014 End Nuba Genocide Coalition relief operation to Kodok refugee camp near the border of Sudan and South Sudan, Operation Broken Silence provides visual evidence that the crisis in South Sudan is further deepening the humanitarian issues for refugees who are trapped between two conflicts. For refugees closer to direct ground conflict in South Sudan and those not on the beaten paths of current humanitarian efforts, the 2014 rainy season could spell disaster for those most vulnerable such as children under the age of five, the elderly, and the ill.
This important field update also notes that a lack of vaccination campaigns, educational supplies and teachers, and international willpower to bring relief to some of these refugees trapped on the border will have increasingly negative long-term effects for the future of these people.
View Abandoned Report (PDF)